Atlanta — Jan 20, 2022
The Atlanta Regional Commission announced last week that the Cobb, DeKalb and Douglas counties and the cities of Douglasville, Milton, Norcross, Roswell and Woodstock have been certified through the agency’s Green Communities Program for demonstrating leadership in sustainability practices.
ARC developed the Green Communities Program in 2009 to recognize local governments that invest in programs and policies that lead to a more sustainable region. The nationally recognized program showcases the many ways that local governments can reduce their environmental footprint.
“Each of our newly awarded Green Communities has shown great progress in reducing our collective environmental impacts and helping create a more livable and sustainable region,” said Natural Resources Managing Director Katherine Zitsch. “The hard work, innovative thinking, and dedication of our Green Communities serve as a model for other communities in the region.”
The 2021 Green Communities honorees achieved the following certification levels:
- City of Douglasville – Recertified Silver
- City of Milton – Upgraded to Silver
- City of Norcross – Recertified Platinum
- City of Roswell – Upgraded to Platinum
- City of Woodstock – Upgraded to Platinum
- Cobb County – Upgraded to Platinum
- DeKalb County – Recertified Bronze
- Douglas County – Recertified Silver
All winners earned certification points for sustainable measures implemented in their communities. Examples of measures that were awarded certification points include:
- City of Douglasville – Used captured rainwater and supplemental well water for irrigation at Hunter Park and West Pines Golf Club, saving more than 30 million gallons of potable water each year.
- City of Milton – Become one of the first cities in Georgia certified as a National Wildlife Federation Community Wildlife Habitat.
- City of Norcross– Built the Norcross Community Garden at Discovery Garden Park, providing the community access to raised gardening beds, cooking equipment, a community pavilion and educational materials.
- City of Roswell – Installed permeable pavers on a road in the Hog Waller Creek watershed to treat storm water and offer flood protection.
- City of Woodstock – Achieved an 87% energy-use reduction and saved approximately $500,000 in energy costs by switching to a virtual server system.
- Cobb County – Participated in both the Hefty Energy Bag Program to offer citizens an alternative to the landfill for their hard-to-recycle plastics, and the Municipal Measurement Program and reduce the size of their waste stream.
- DeKalb County – Converted an underused multi-family apartment complex to greenspace and parkland, which now includes a community garden, a state-of-the-art playground and walking paths.
- Douglas County – Protected the primary supply of drinking water for the county, the Dog River Basin, with a 200-foot buffer along both sides of the streams, double the required state standard.
In metro Atlanta, 17 local governments — 11 cities and six counties — are currently certified under ARC’s Green Communities Program. This is the first program in the country to promote sustainability through a green certification program for local governments.
More information about ARC’s Green Communities certification program is available at atlantaregional.org/greencommunities.
The Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) is the official planning agency for the 11-county Atlanta Region, including Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry and Rockdale counties as well as the City of Atlanta and 74 other cities. The Atlanta Regional Commission serves as a catalyst for regional progress by focusing leadership, attention and planning resources on key regional issues.
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